Defunct commexes face closure

Stock market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India, is working on the closure of regional commodity exchanges, where trading no longer takes place.

The closure would be similar to that of stock exchanges.

"We are working on processes to give an exit to regional commodity exchanges. We are examining the exchanges for any trading activity. If they had no trading activity for two years, we will give them an opportunity for exit," said a source at the regulator.

In the past three years, the regulator has ordered 16 regional exchanges to close.  Two of these - Delhi Stock Exchange and Calcutta Stock Exchange - have approached courts against the regulator's closure order.  Trading members of the closed exchange will be allowed trading through its subsidiary.

Sebi has asked regional commodity exchanges to corporatise and de-mutualise within three years. Regional commodity exchanges are being charged a lower regulatory fee of Rs 50,000 a year for the first two years.

The Bombay Commodity Exchange saw its last trade in 2013; Cotton Association of India in 2012; and Spices and Oilseeds Exchange in 2007. The erstwhile commodity markets regulator, Forward Markets Commission (FMC), had issued a show-cause notice to the Bombay Commodity Exchange and Spices and Oilseeds Exchange in 2015.

In 2012, Cotton Association of India had applied for de-recognition to former commodity markets regulator, FMC. Of six regional commodity exchanges in India, four had got permanent recognition from FMC.

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